Justices of the Apex Court and the Verdict of History
By EUGENE WINFUL
With knees on our necks, gasping for the last breadth of hope for our nation, Nigerians are keeping vigil, by keeping hope alive to witness history in real time. Nigerians, Africa and the world are watching as our legal luminaries and judicial juggernauts take the center stage in these trying times of the State of our Union —adorning their horsehair wigs and gowns.
On whose side will history be? The onus is on their Lordships to prove their mettle as the distinguished jurists they are (or meant to be) in the discharge of their sacred duties. Banish the thought that we might be constrained to say — As the court pleases! —even when we are not quite pleased! Below are 3 quotes I find interesting from a great Chinese Philosopher, Confucius.
* Isn’t it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned?-Confucius.* If I hear the way of truth in the morning, I am content even to die in that evening.-Confucius.*
When we see men of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see men of contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves- Confucius.
For a lawyer to rise through the ranks to attain the position of a Judge of the Supreme Court in any country in the world, is a feat worthy of the highest recognition.In the same breadth, where one who has risen to such enviable pedestal, is found wanting or compromised in one fell swoop, he or she would have completely eroded the years, the honor and dignity the position bestows on him/her.If Judges have to be put in a position where all they are taught to stand for can be rubbished by greed, by all means, use the prospective baiter as an example to others who might be nursing such thoughts.
I don’t know if this is “lawful”, but pray, can Judges collect the inducement, tender same as evidence in court, and lodge the loot into the coffers of the Judiciary?- just the way Customs and Border Patrol, Police Officers of repute do in developed countries.
Then, proceed to deliver judgment against the inducer to set precedent not only to up and coming Judges, but also as a valuable lesson to those who might contemplate indulging in such nefarious acts in order to deter prospective criminals that may think they could buy their way to favorable rulings and judgments.
If Judges can stand for the truth no matter what is dangled before their eyes, rest assured their names will forever be etched in stone.
No dignity equals that of “robed men” who have risen through the ranks in the legal profession to be counted amongst those that discharge fair and unbiased judgments sitting on the Apex Courts.
But for such highly placed “supermen” to fall prey or be caught pants down, risking everything they have worked hard for and achieved over decades to attain would be a huge shame to be borne by their families and their generation.
If our Honorable Judges live up to the oath they have so sworn to uphold, by delivering judgments devoid of bias and strictly based on law and facts, it would be a new dawn in the writing of the opening chapter of Hope for a New Nigeria.
Where the other two arms of government are complicit, the Judiciary should stand tall by standing out.